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Rays weighing their options

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Rays weighing their options

The Orioles’ prudent American League East rivals, the Rays, must make decisions on several key players on their roster soon after the World Series.

As Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times details, four players have options that the club has three days to exercise after the Series ends.

*Closer Fernando Rodney. At $2.5 million, he’s a bargain. Plus, he saves on energy costs because he’s so lights-out. (And, yeah, that’s mine, so don’t blame it on Topkin.)

*Starter James Shields. He’ll cost $10.25 million, and the Rays may well be picking up the option because they plan to trade him.

*Designated hitter Luke Scott. The former Baltimore fan favorite is due $6 million coming off an injury-riddled, inconsistent season (.229), so he’s a good candidate to be cut loose.

*Catcher Jose Molina. The Rays may be willing to overlook his lack of hitting (.223) because of how well he works with the pitching staff. With pitching being Tampa Bay’s strength, $1.8 million may not be too much to re-up Molina.

Then there is the matter of apparent free-agent-to-be B.J. Upton. If the Rays don’t want the center fielder to walk away without the club’s receiving a draft pick, they need to offer him a deal of one year for $13.3 million.

Topkin wrote: “[Rays vice president Andrew] Friedman and agent Larry Reynolds have talked, and it's easy to imagine they were feeling each other out: The Rays seeking a sense he won't take the offer (which would jolt their payroll); Upton's side being coy since the offer increases his cost to a signing team because it loses a draft pick.”

In Upton’s case, the Rays have five days post-Series to decide.

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Orioles Roundup: O's look to rebound in series against Blue Jays

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Orioles Roundup: O's look to rebound in series against Blue Jays

Entering a weekend series against one of the best teams in baseball, the Orioles looked for their first series win since late April. Even though the team played some good baseball, the search will continue on as Baltimore could only salvage one game.

Looking to break the streak, a three-game stretch with Toronto offers them a chance to change the fortunes. 

Here's the latest Orioles and Blue Jays news:

Player Notes

ORIOLES:

The Orioles made a trade on Monday that netted them right-hander Thomas Eshelman from the Phillies. Sending back international signing bonus slots in return, Baltimore picks up a starter that has a 4.61 ERA in the minors this season. His journey with the Orioles will begin at Triple-A Norfolk.

As he continues to rehab from a knee injury, Mark Trumbo could return to the Major League in the near future. The slugger was in Baltimore Monday to have his knee looked at, and his rehab assignment comes to an end on June 16. So, a decision will be coming soon.

John Means will take the hill on Tuesday looking for his sixth win of the season. Sitting at 5-4 with a 2.67 ERA, Means 2019 has been a solid one. He's coming off six innings of one-run ball against the Rangers, though he did still suffer the loss.

BLUE JAYS:

Things may not be going great a the MLB level, but the Blue Jays are getting some good performances from their farm system. One of them came recently from Double-A starter Nate Pearson. With five scoreless innings on Sunday, the 22-year-old continued his stellar 2019 campaign. His K/BB catches your eye, as it sits at 63/8.

David Phelps rehab from Tommy John surgery continues to trend upwards, as he pitched a scoreless frame on both Tuesday and Wednesday in High-A ball.

Trent Thornton will go for Toronto on Tuesday. With a 1-4 record in 13 starts, he'll look to lower his 4.73 ERA. Thornton did pick up a win against the Yankees his last time out, but four earned runs in 5.0 innings led to his ERA actually increasing. 

Injuries

OF Dwight Smith Jr.: Concussion, 7-Day IL

OF DJ Stewart: Ankle, 10-Day IL

SP Alex Cobb: Back, 60-Day IL

SP Nate Karns: Arm, 60-Day IL

DH Mark Trumbo: Knee, 60-Day IL

Coming Up

Tuesday 6/11: Orioles vs. Blue Jays, 7:05 p.m. ET, Orioles Park

Wednesday 6/12: Orioles vs. Blue Jays, 7:00 p.m. ET, Orioles Park

Thursday 6/13: Orioles vs. Blue Jays, 7:00 p.m. ET, Orioles Park

Source: Rotoworld

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Over 70,000 people think Chris Davis should make the All-Star Game

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Over 70,000 people think Chris Davis should make the All-Star Game

When the first returns of the American League preliminary vote for the 2019 MLB All-Star Game came in Monday, there were a few surprises on the list of the top vote-getters in each position.

Amongst the most surprising, Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis received 70,010 votes from fans, the tenth-most votes at his position.

After a rough start to the season, in which the first baseman extended his hitless streak to 54 at-bats, Davis is still struggling to find his groove at the plate, batting .161 with five home runs.  

Baltimore outfielder Trey Mancini was the only other Oriole on the list, receiving the 17th-most votes of any AL outfielder (100,457). 

Unlike Davis, Mancini is batting .299, the second-highest average in Baltimore behind Hanser Alberto (.311), with 13 homers and 31 RBIs so far.

Other surprises on the list include the Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, who received the tenth-most votes of any American League second baseman (50,065). This season Kipnis has slashed .218/.272/.307, with only two home runs. 

Less surprising, the Los Angeles Angels Mike Trout received close to a million votes, the most of any American League ballplayer and the most of any outfielder in the first returns (951,002). 

Only three other players had more than 500,000 votes: Houston Astros outfielder George Springer (776,352), New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (737,107) and Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman (630,159). 

All four of the top vote-getters have 17 or more home runs, including Sanchez' 19 blasts, which are tied for the second-most in the American League. 

Primary voting for the 2019 MLB All-Star Game ends at 4 p.m. ET on Friday, June 21.